The 2016 Women of the Year Lunch and Awards is taking place on Monday 17 October and recognises the hard work and notable achievements of over 400 ‘Women of the Year’.

A select few will receive special Women of the Year Awards selected by an independent judging panel, made up of extraordinary women including Women of the Year alumnae.

The Judging Panel was hosted by President Sandi Toksvig OBE, and Chairman Jane Luca, Women of the Year and included:

Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE is an active campaigner for justice and equality, and the mother of Stephen Lawrence, a teenager who was murdered in a racist attack in South East London in 1993. She founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in 1998 and her work was recognised with a Woman of the year Award in 2012.

Ronke Philips has been a journalist for more than 20 years across print, radio and television. She won an Amnesty International Award for her ITV film revealing the real identity of the ‘Torso in the Thames’ child.

Sue Walton is a senior television executive and is the Editor of ITV’s Lorraine.

Maureen Lipman CBE has been an actress and writer for almost fifty years. Last year she starred in Bull, Plebs, The Job Lot and To Hull and Back. Her last stage play was ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’, at ST James Theatre, and she will be the Wicked Fairy in Sleeping Beauty at Richmond. Her new book ‘It’s a Jungle out There’ is published in October.

Andrea Coleman co-founded the international social enterprise Riders for Health in 1990 with Barry Coleman. Since then Andrea has continued to be a driving force behind the organisation’s work, revolutionising African transport infrastructure and health systems. Andrea won the Women of the Year Award sponsored by Barclay’s in 2013.

Anne Aslett is the Executive Director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Formerly, Anne served as the Foundation’s International Development Director for eight years, developing its grants portfolio across 17 countries and overseeing the disbursement of some £60m in grants. Anne joined the Foundation from the commercial sector, where she managed a news information service for the UK leading print and electronic media, following over 5 years in UK print journalism and documentary film making on health and current affairs issues. Anne has served on numerous committees including the International Grants Committee of Comic Relief and the European Funders Group on HIV/AIDS.

Rt Hon the Baroness Tina Stowell of Beeston MBE is the former Leader of the House of Lords and prior to that served as a minister in the department for communities and as government spokesperson for women, equalities, work and pensions. She successfully stewarded the equal marriage bill through the House of Lords in 2014 and was recognised widely – with awards from the Spectator, Pink News and Stonewall – for uniting the second chamber in its massive majority support for this landmark social change.